A workplace first aid officer isn’t just an office nurse, an on-shift doctor, or someone to run to when you need medicine or medical advice. No, a first aid officer is an official and legally-mandated role—and as such, it carries with it certain important responsibilities that no other individual in the workplace has the authority to fulfil. To help you or your future chosen workplace first aider get acquainted with those responsibilities, we’ve assembled 5 of the most important ones in the list below.
- A workplace first aid officer is responsible for providing first aid to all persons within their office. Clearly, one of the biggest and foremost of their responsibilities is providing first aid to everyone in their office upon demand. This includes regular employees, contractors, guests, or anyone in the premises when the emergency occurred. Aside from applying first aid, the officer should also call for appropriate medical assistance as well as calm down or reassure the injured party.
- An office first aider is responsible for keeping their certification current and for refreshing their first aid skills. It’s a must for any first aider to retain their first aid certification. The statements of attainment that can be acquired by completing first aid training in Perth or any other area have a validity period; they must be renewed periodically to be valid. Renewing first aid certification does not need to be a time-consuming task. Many first aid training centres offer 1- to 2-day classes, which won’t require first aid officers to be away from work for extended periods. Some organisations, such as Australia Wide First Aid, even offer on-site training to reduce the impact of such an event to an employee’s productivity. Attending a course not only serves to renew someone’s certification, it also helps ensure that first aiders have updated skills and techniques and are capable of carrying out their jobs.
- A first aid officer is responsible for knowing exactly what medical resources are available in the local area and where. Aside from bringing the right set of skills and knowledge to the table, a first aid officer is also expected to maintain all tools related to providing first aid in the office and keep it accessible to everyone who may need it. Officers should keep track of all medical resources such as first aid kits, epinephrine pens, defibrillators, and more. In addition, officers are also tasked with knowing where nearby hospitals or clinics are, in case medical assistance is required.
- First aiders are mandated to investigate the cause of a recent injury, illness, or accident. Aside from providing basic first aid during an incident that requires it, a first aid officer is also responsible for finding out what caused injuries or illnesses in the workplace. Once the cause of the incident has been found and the company owners and officers as well as the Work, Health, and Safety (WHS) body within the workplace have been notified, they can take practical steps to prevent the occurrence of a similar accident, injury, or outbreak of illness in the premises.
- It is also a first aider’s responsibility to identify hazards and risks within the workplace, as well as assist in quarterly site inspections. Finally, a first aid officer in the workplace is responsible for scanning and identifying hazards that may result in an injury or casualty. This may include heavy moving machinery, hazardous or toxic chemicals, sharp tools, high working places, and more. After identifying these hazards, the officer can alert the administration and advocate for better safety measures and equipment to mitigate the danger that these elements present.
First aid officers play a big role in keeping a workplace or facility safe and conducive to work. Aside from having the right skills, techniques, and tools needed to do the job well, a good candidate for such a title should have good decision-making skills and be able to keep a calm head in panic-inducing situations. Choosing the right person will make the rest of the staff more at ease and more focused on their work, as they know someone will be able to look after them in cases of emergency.
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